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New Release Review! A DUKE WILL NEVER DO by Darcy Burke (The Spitfire Society #3)

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Can a bluestocking bring a reckless viscount back from the brink?

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Untouchables series comes your next Regency obsession: The Spitfire Society… Meet the smart, independent women who’ve decided they don’t need Society’s rules, their families’ expectations, or, most importantly, a husband. But just because they don’t need a man doesn’t mean they might not want one.

After failing on the Marriage Mart, Jane Pemberton has two choices: submit to her parents’ edict to marry their boring neighbor or become a self-declared spinster and take up residence in the official headquarters of the Spitfire Society. It’s really no choice at all, and Jane is eager to embrace her newfound independence. She soon finds an unconscious viscount on her doorstep and nurses him back to health. When he offers to compensate her, she requests payment in the form of private instruction of a scandalous and intimate kind.

Having spiraled into a self-destructive abyss following the murder of his parents, Anthony, Viscount Colton, physically recovers under the care of an alluring spitfire. But it is her charm and flirtatiousness that soothes his soul and arouses his desire—until an extortion scheme forces him to face the sins of his past. Now, to save the woman who’s given him everything he lost and more, he’ll have to pay the ultimate price: his heart.

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Anthony’s book!

I’ve been wanting to find out his story since the book where he left a house party because of his parents’ attack (I honestly don’t remember which one it was–I feel like I’ve been waiting ages, even though Ms Burke really does write fairly quickly 😉 ); watching him try to destroy himself on the sidelines of the past few books was heartbreaking, and I was rooting for him to find his way out (and get an HEA, of course!)

Jane too was intriguing in previous books…and that setup? Near dead viscount shows up on spinster’s doorstep, and she proceeds to nurse him back to health? Yes, please!

There was some excellent banter here, and the scenes between Anthony and Jane were smoking hot. Plus, there are kittens–kittens who prefer the hero (they sleep on his legs at night! He is constantly “trapped” by little furry bundles taking naps on his lap during the day!) and spend their days being adorably kittenish. All good things, and so much fun to read.

Anthony gets his HEA, conveniently joined by Jane 🙂

But…I feel like Anthony doesn’t quite do all of the work he really needs to to resolve his bigger issues. Yes, the villains of the piece are caught, the correct people are made aware of secrets that have been kept from them, and (some) families begin healing. BUT is it all enough to fix his self-medication/substance abuse problem? My heart wants to say, “Of course! Love fixes all!” but really, Anthony has to do it for himself…and IDK if that’s all in there. He made it seem awfully easy if he did.

Another BUT…it’s fiction, so I’m going with the of course it’s that easy option here. The tiny little coming soon blurbs at the end of this one have me all excited about the next three(!) books Ms Burke has planned, and I look forward to seeing Anthony prove my worries wrong in every single one…

As usual, though this isn’t the first book in the series, it should work just fine as a standalone for new readers. You won’t “get” who all the side characters are who weave in and out of the story, but you don’t need to–honestly, after so many books in this universe, half the time I don’t remember who they are either–not without looking them up! (I also regularly call my two grey cats by the wrong names and occasionally mix up my children–who are different genders–so, this *could* be all me 😉 )

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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